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January 17, 2013

Heritage Trails Project needs more answers before fundraising begins

DUNCAN — By the time of the next meeting on Feb. 12, the Duncan Heritage Trails Coalition hopes to have some burning questions answered that will allow them to move forward with raising funds for the project.

Chairman of the Heritage Trails Committee Scott Stone will continue to work with Randy Hill, president of E.D. Hill Surveying and Engineering in Oklahoma City, to discover the answers to these questions.

Among the concerns raised was questions of liability, maintainence and a governing body to oversee the day-to-day proceedings of the trail once it is built.

Hill and Stone will be making contact with other communities that have multiple property owners coming together on one project for ideas on the best way to proceed.

“I think it may be helpful if we do not try to reinvent the wheel here, but identify with other trail owners,” Stone said.

The committee was prepared to begin making fundraising plans but decided the answers to these questions were pertinent to raising money informatively.

The committee did pass a motion that approved the conceptual plans as prepared by Hill.

Adjustments will be made in the engineering process if need be should problems concerning liability or right-of-way arise.

The Heritage Trails Project is a cooperative project between The Simmons Center, The Chisholm Trails Heritage Center, Duncan Regional Hospital, Duncan Public Schools and the City of Duncan to build a paved 5k trail with an option for a shorter route.

The trail is estimated to cost $852,415 with a concrete sidewalk and $688,705 with an asphalt sidewalk.

Those figures will be adjusted after engineering plans are complete and if other conveniences such as lighting is added.

To date, a grant application has been sent in for a matching grant to the state’s Department of Tourism and Recreation.

Funds have been set aside in the city’s budget to meet the matching requirements of the grant up to $160,000.

Stone said he would like to see more funding in place before they took on the costs of creating the engineering plans.

“I do not want to have the engineering work done until we have the funds in place,” he said.

Provided the committee is ready to proceed at the next meeting, plans will be made to apply for other grants, speak to local civic organizations and organize fundraising events.

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